If you live on the East Coast, you know you are about to get hit with a pretty big winter storm. If you are going to be traveling this weekend, make sure you check with your airline as they have all issued travel advisories for the affected areas and have waivers in place. With this storm coming, believe it or not, Delta Skymiles saved the day for some last minute travel and here is how.
Delta Skymiles To The Rescue In The Face Of The Impending Storm
Skymiles – A Lot To Dislike!
We all like to get on Delta a bit for their Skymiles program. There is no question that they run a top-notch domestic airline and it is a pleasure to fly on it (I flew them almost exclusively for a while). But, it is their Skymiles program, the frequent flyer program, that has so many flyers looking to other options. I was a Diamond Medallion for a couple of years and enjoyed the service and the perks, but I stopped flying with them as the program began deteriorating and now have not flown on them or earned miles with them in well over a year.
Skymiles – Still Value To Be Had
However, there program still does have some value and it pops up in moments like this. My mom had tickets for Florida this weekend on Southwest through Baltimore – yes, one of the cities that is supposed to get pounded with snow. As a result, she was looking around for some other option because she does not want to get stuck there for the weekend but she does need to get down there on Saturday.
Of course, it is possible to just buy a ticket and my parents were going to do that but I asked them to hold off so I could check a couple of things. With her departure being from NY, she was trying to avoid anything that would make her connect through the DC area or the NYC area. With Charlotte and Philadelphia on the list as well, that really only left Chicago and Atlanta.
Skymiles – Great In A Pinch
In the end, Delta had the best schedule for her. And here is one of the (few) beautiful things about the Delta Skymiles program – they do not have any close-in booking fees for awards. American and United both charge $75 if you try to book an award within 21 days of departure!
Delta does not charge any fee for such bookings. Of course, you do need to take notice that they do not allow any changed within 72 hours of departure either (for anyone – including elite members) so make sure you will not need to change it.
Sure enough, I found that flight on Delta and it was only 12,500 miles for the one way trip. Not having anymore Skymiles, we transferred over 13,000 American Express Membership Reward points (which transferred instantly) and I booked the ticket. All done!
Even though there are many things wrong with Delta’s frequent flyer program, Skymiles can give some value at times, especially in cases like this. Thanks to Skymiles, my mom will make her trip and actually be able to leave from a more convenient airport than she was going to otherwise!
Since she was flying Southwest, she was able to get a full refund in the form of a credit for future travel. But even if she was with a different airline, she would have been able to get a refund if her flight had been cancelled or significantly delayed. At the very least, she would have been able to make changes to it for free within the waiver dates given by the airlines.
If you have travel this weekend that is covered under the airlines’ travel waivers, consider using your Delta Skymiles to travel if the airports are not in the affected areas. This way, you can still get where you need to be and can do it with as little out of pocket money as possible.